Browsing by Subject "Christianity"

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  • Alava, Henni Leena (Brill, 2017)
    Youth in a Globalizing World
    This chapter analyses how the public discourse of ‘lost youth’ in post-war Acholiland manifests and is engaged with, particularly among well-educated Catholic and Protestant youngsters and young adults in the region who considered themselves ‘not lost’. I argue that the discourse of ‘lostness’ emerged in relation to my young informants’ disillusioned views on formal politics and the Ugandan state, and suggest that in distinguishing themselves from those who are ‘lost’, and in suggesting solutions to ‘lostness’, young Catholics and Protestants were expressing a particular kind of political agency: not being lost was seen as a prerequisite to being able to contribute to societal development and, ultimately, to being a politically engaged citizen. Finally, I demonstrate that, although the discourse of ‘lostness’ expressed a moral-panic type concern with the perceived uncontrollability of youth (Diouf 2003), embodying desires for rather conservative societal transformations, the discourse was also employed as a tool of critique against the ruling government.
  • Mäkilä-Manninen, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    This thesis examines the use of alchemical imagery in selected love poems and religious verse by John Donne. Donne’s alchemical imagery has been argued to represent a blend of eschatology and alchemy, and the mystical imagery can be interpreted as a psychological representation of what Jung calls the “projection of the process of individuation”. The intersection of mystical alchemy, eschatology, and psychological integration materializes as a rich literary concoction in the following poems: “A Litanye”, “Resurrection. Imperfect”, “A Nocturnall vpon St Lucies Day”, “An Elegie vpon the death of the Ladie Marckham”, and “The Extasie”. Through close reading, this thesis employs a combination of textual criticism and Jung’s psychoanalytic treatment of alchemy. This thesis demonstrates the purpose of alchemy in Donne’s poetry to clarify, first, “why alchemy?”, and second, “what makes alchemy a potent tool for the poet?”. The alchemical influence in Donne’s poetry has been broadly recognized by literary critics, but an integrated Jungian analysis provides a more substantial and psychologically informed understanding of Donne’s poetic conceits and images. In this thesis, I present textual and historical readings within the context of the Jungian theory of individuation. The purpose of using Jung’s psychoanalytic concepts is to deepen our critical understanding of the spiritual and physical experiences of Donne as psychologically descriptive and significant. This thesis shows that Donne’s use of alchemical imagery illustrates his psycho-spiritual processes and self-formation in textual form. Close reading and the integration of Jungian alchemical theories help bring these processes to the surface, making what is concealed manifest in Donne’s words. While staying rooted in Christian doctrine, Donne utilizes alchemy as a tool for textual mappings of the internal motion of his soul. By appropriating alchemy as a poetic tool, Donne also participates in a diachronic thread of alchemical thinking from the wake of Hermeticism to 20th-century psychoanalysis and modern-day embodied schemata in cognitive science. The chosen imagery serves as a culturally appropriate vehicle for making sense of abstract subject matter during the golden age of alchemical developments. Furthermore, Donne’s verse shows that for the poet no union and wholeness can be achieved without love as the proverbial alchemist, and neither can he experience redemptive transmutation without God as the “Arch-Chymist”. By turning to psychoanalysis and Jungian concepts, this thesis shows that the process of individuation, and mystical union – coniunctio – is lodged in his verse. The unification of conscious and unconscious mind is textually illustrated in Donne’s reflections on the nature of love and spirituality. Indeed, the selected poems carry a distinct consciousness that seeks moral-intellectual refinement and purification to emulate the divine and to endure the transmutation process to become unified with the divine. Finally, the connection between love and alchemical transmutation lies in the union Donne seeks on spiritual and physical levels.
  • Paudel, Suman Babu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In the context of newly introduced secularism in Nepal, the qualitative study discuss different aspects of Nepalese society where religious tension is emerging. The objective of the study is to explore the understanding of religious leaders on secularism and their idea of religious rights. Based on interviews with these leaders (Islam, Hindu and Christian), the thesis describes how their understanding of secularism contrasted in daily life. Based on primary and secondary information, the study further deals about how religious tensions are evolving among different religious groups. Furthermore, it helps to understand how Nepalis secularism differs from western modal of secularism and explains different reasons why the ideal definition of secularism (separation of church and the state) could not be practical one in Nepalese society. The hope of religious equality beaten when the constitution barred to religious conversion. Though conversion is not allowed, different Christian organizations are conducting missionary activities. Consequently, police actions are increased against Christians on the charge of conversion. Christians are raising voice against state interference in religion. They are demanding conversion right if the state is secular. Secularism has been interpreted as a right to convert people, other features of secularism has become minor. Hindus have perceived secularism as a threat to Hinduism. Hindu nationalism emerged against secularism, it has created fear among minority groups. The thesis also explains the view of the Muslims community in the context of the rise of Hindu nationalism and missionary activities of Christians. Contestation on Secularism not only polarize people of religious groups but also political parties. Religion has become a political agenda, the demand for a referendum against secularism has become an issue of the political campaign of non-communist and pro monarch parties. These anti-secular movements are supported by Indian political parties, Indian leaders and different Hindu organizations around the world. In the end, this thesis concludes that there is a need for the interference of the state to end the dominance of Hinduism as well as protect the basic human rights of people where religion suppresses it. The state needs to support minority religious groups to flourish it. The thesis also signifies the need for interreligious dialogue among religious groups to restore harmony and tolerance.
  • Khachaturyan, Maria (2020)
    The focus of the paper is a study of cultural and linguistic contact in West Africa, especially in the domain of religion. Through an analysis of historical layers of some Arabic borrowings in three languages of the region, Manding, Kpelle and Mano, as well as social contexts in which language contact and vocabulary transmission may have occurred, the paper presents a reconstruction of the way Arabic lexicon came to shape Christian (and especially Catholic) lexicon of Kpelle and Mano. This study argues that the influence of Islam on Christianity should be accounted for not only in terms of synchronic influence, but also in terms of influence on pre-Christian religious practice, some aspects of which have later been incorporated into the Christian practice. The paper provides evidence for the key role of the missionaries’ translation techniques in shaping the religious lexicon, and at the same time emphasizes the importance of local interethnic dynamics and language contact.
  • Botez, Andrei; Hietanen, Joel; Tikkanen, Henrikki (2020)
    In this study, we critically examine the ongoing adoption of various posthumanist influences into the fields of marketing and consumer research from a theological perspective. By conducting a theological-historical assessment, we propose that it is not posthuman notions of human/technology relations, nor their broader context in the emerging non-representational paradigms, that mark radically new disruptions in the continuing restructuring of the disciplines of marketing and consumer research. Instead, we argue that what is taking place is an implicit adherence to a contemporary form of age-old Christian dogma. As a radical conjecture, we thus propose that an identification of certain similarities between Christian dogma and the grounds for various posthumanist frameworks suggest that posthuman thought may well herald the global dissemination of a far more elusive, authoritarian, and hegemonic system than that which posthumanists typically claim to have abandoned. Consequently, we elaborate on implications to developments in marketing thought.
  • Muurman, Eeva-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This thesis examines perspectives that Christians in Western Kavango in Namibia have about Christianity and their past religious traditions. The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (former Finnish Missionary Society) has been working there since 1926. The latest Finnish missionaries left the area in 2013. The Catholic mission was already active in Kavango when the Finns arrived, but Catholicism has been more influential in the eastern part of Kavango. Nowadays new, Pentecostal type churches are attracting a lot of people. The basic research method has been interviewing people in Kavango. First, I wanted to know why they are Christians and what Christianity means to them. Second, I interviewed them about what they know or remember about old cultural traditions and how they evaluate them. I also wished to get deeper into the process of conversion, but I was not able to do so, mainly because almost all the informants had been Christians since their childhood. It seems that people in Kavango have taken Christianity as their own. Christianity in Kavango also has longer and deeper roots than I expected. All the informants said that they are Christians and all consider Christianity as important for themselves. There was more variation in how they expressed the basic meaning of Christianity: salvation to heaven after death, getting daily bread from God, or having order and purpose in life. Prayer is very important to Christians in Kavango; almost every informant spoke something about prayer although I did not ask about it. This may have something to do with the tradition of offering and praying to ancestral spirits. Now Christians feel they have direct contact to God through prayer, as there is no more need to approach him through a mediator. Early missionaries required a Christian way of life from converts. Women had to cut away their traditional hairdo, and polygamous men had to send extra wives away. Concerning the hairdo the missionaries thought that it involves a lot of magic, whereas the local people saw it only as a matter of beauty until they adopted new ideals of hygiene. Polygamy has been more common than I expected and is still found in Kavango. The church still follows the guideline on polygamy given by the missionaries. The moral code of the church is strict in particular on cohabitation before marriage. Strict morals are not, however, only a product of the mission; the traditional society used to have harsh punishments. Traditional healing divides opinions. On one hand Christians also admit there are true herbal remedies that healers know. On the other hand many healers are only cheating people to get money, and even today some point out “witches” as the cause of illness or injury, leading to blaming of innocent people. In general, it can be said that Christians in Kavango consider Christianity and traditional African religion as a continuum, not as opposites. They compare their pre-Christian era with the Old Testament. When they prayed God through their forefathers, it was like praying the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In fact, the world of the Old Testament is close to that of African traditional life in many aspects. Even so, Christians in Kavango see Christianity as something brought to them by God’s power, so they can confess faith in Jesus whom they did not previously know.
  • West, Helga Sofia (2020)
    Social reconciliation has received much attention in Christian churches since the late 1980s. Both the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway initiated reconciliation processes with the Saami (also “Sami” or “Sámi”), the indigenous people of Northern Europe, at the beginning of the 1990s. As former state churches, they bear the colonial burden of having converted the Saami to Lutheranism. To make amends for their excesses in the missionary field, both Scandinavian churches have aimed at structural changes to include Saaminess in their church identities. In this article, I examine how the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway understand reconciliation in relation to the Saami in their own church documents using conceptual analysis. I argue that the Church of Sweden treats reconciliation primarily as a secular concept without binding it to the doctrine of reconciliation, making the Church’s agenda theologically weak, whereas the Church of Norway utilizes Christian resources in its comprehensive approach to reconciliation with the Saami. This article shows both the challenges and contributions of the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway to the hotly debated discussions on truth and reconciliation in the Nordic Saami context.
  • Huerta Jiménez, Diego Alonso (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The purpose of this thesis is to problematize the complexity and the variety of voices that dialogued by the end of the third century a.D. in Rome in order to contribute to shape the phenomenon we have come to know as Christianity. The research question is:as opposed to using just a source associated with the Church, what additional perspectives are provided by the juxtaposition of more voices in order to conceptualise alterity within Christianity in this foundational moment? In order to answer it, I use three sources (Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica, Lactantius’ De Mortibus Persecutorum and the Memoria Apostolorum graffiti in Via Appia, Rome), which provide a variety of voices associated with a range social actors. The objective is to give a broader account of Christian alterity in late antiquity by means of applying a dialogic approach. Originally proposed by Mikhail Bakhtin, this hermeneutic paradigm seeks to juxtapose the voices of all the social actors implied in order to show the conflict between. Given that it would not be possible to juxtapose all the possible sources, I base my analysis in a historical framework grounded on secondary literature that also acts as a metadiscursive context to interpret the sources. I make use of mixed methods based on content analysis, using MaxQDA to code segments in all three sources and then analyse their frequencies in order to delineate which variables are more relevant to analyse. I thereafter present comments; first analysing only Eusebius’ text, then analysing all three together and showing the conflict between them. Finally, I contrast both conceptualisations. My main conclusion is that an open ended account of history represents alterity in a more complex way that allows researchers to make folk discourses visible, as was the case for these three sources, despite having the risk of being more chaotic.
  • Li, Huawei; Ruokanen, Miikka; Ford, David (2019)
    In the past two decades, scriptural reasoning (SR) has gained wide acceptance as a promising new method of interreligious dialogue among Jews, Christians, and Muslims and is rapidly gaining attention all over the world. SR as interfaith dialogue between the Abrahamic religions emerged in an Anglo-American context in the early 1990s. The first long-term experiment of SR in China was carried out in Beijing from December 2014 to September 2015 as a cooperative project between the Minzu University of China and the University of Helsinki. This SR included the sacred texts of the Chinese traditions of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism alongside the canonical texts of Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant) and Islam. All the scriptural faith traditions of China were represented in this dialogue. The process of SR was carefully researched by Dr Li Huawei; the results show that it is justified to say that SR seems well-suited as a method of interfaith dialogue between the main faith traditions of China. We may assume that SR in China will have far-reaching influence in the future.
  • Lempinen, Lassi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2023)
    In this thesis, I study the role of the Christian virtues of weakness, humility and self-sacrifice, and also mortality, in the cosmology and quests of J.R.R. Tolkien’s (1892-1973) Middle-earth core legendarium, which consists of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. What I aim to show is that these virtues are what the general cosmology of Middle-earth is oriented towards and simultaneously what successful heroism requires in the quests of Middle-earth. As the Middle-earth timeline progresses, the Christian virtues become increasingly prevalent. In the close reading section on cosmology, it is observed that this development is foreshadowed in the primordial Music and Vision of Creation, where the unfolding history of Middle-earth is envisioned by divine powers. Over the timeline, the gradual shift from powerful, graceful and immortal towards weak, humble and mortal is realised through the demographic shifts, where with very few exceptions, the powerful and immortal fade away and leave in favour of the weak and mortal, who take over and gain agency. As is observe in the close reading section on the quests of Middle-earth, this development is reflected in those quests, and successful heroism is often carried out by the weak and humble mortals, notably often through self-sacrifice. Ultimately, the Christian virtues become manifested in the Hobbits and their unlikely triumph over the greatest evil.
  • Bagge, Sverre (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2015)
    COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences ; 17
    The radical difference between the past and the present is mostly regarded as an invention of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, which marks the origin of the modern understanding of history. Does this mean that in the Middle Ages there was no idea of the past being different? The article will examine this question on the basis of one text, Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla, which deals with the history of the Norwegian dynasty from Roman times until 1177. The focus will be on two events, the introduction of Christianity and the unification of the kingdom under one king.
  • Tsurkka, Tiia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Pro Gradu –tutkielmani käsittelee kristillisen tietokirjallisuuden kääntämistä sanaston kääntämisen näkökulmasta. Materiaalini on oma 20 sivun käännökseni Leif Nummelan kirjasta Raamatun punainen lanka. Käännös on tehty suomesta englantiin. Käännös on tehty samanaikaisesti toimeksiantona Nummelaa ja tätä tutkielmaa varten. Tutkielmani teoriapohja koostuu Eugene Nidan ekvivalenssin käsitteestä sekä Nidan Raamatun kääntämisen teorioista. Ekvivalenssia on myöhemmin käyttänyt myös Jean-Paul Vinay ja Jean Darbelnet, joiden teorioita käsittelen myös. Tämän lisäksi käytän Katharina Reissin ja Hans J. Vermeerin Skopos-teoriaa käännöksen tarkoituksen määrittelyyn. Viimeisimpänä hyödynnän myös Lawrence Venutin kotouttamisen ja vieraannuttamisen käsitteitä, joista myös Nida on kirjoittanut. Tutkimuskysymykseni on: ”Mitä käännösstrategioita käännöksestäni löytyy?” Oletukseni on, että kristillisessä kirjallisuudessa luovuus ei ole suurissa määrissä sallittua. Raamatun kääntämistä on tutkittu niin pitkään, että sanasto on tarkoituksellisesti muokkautunut nykyiseen muotoonsa. Kristinuskon sanastoa voidaan käsitellä yhtenä erikoisalan sanastona, ja ammattitaitoisen kääntäjän tulisi hallita tämä sanasto ryhtyessään kääntämään tämän alan tekstejä. Luen sanastoon mukaan sekä Raamatusta löytyvän sanaston että kristinuskoon yleisesti vakiintuneen sanaston. Analysoin käännöstä kolmessa osassa. Ensimmäisenä analysoin lähtötekstistä löytyvien Raamatun jakeiden käännöstä ekvivalenssin käsitteen avulla. Oletuksena on, että jakeet tulee vain mekaanisesti korvata kohdekielen Raamatun jakeilla. Seuraavaksi analysoin tekstiä, jossa kirjailija on viitannut Raamatun jakeisiin, mutta muokannut ja selittänyt sanomaa. Tässä osiossa tärkeintä on sanaston pysyminen Raamatun sanaston mukaisena. Viimeisenä analysoin kaikkea jäljelle jäävää tekstiä, joka ei juurikaan käsittele Raamatun kertomuksia. Tässä osuudessa kääntäjän on mahdollisuus käyttää kotouttavaa tai vieraannuttavaa strategiaa, kunhan lopputulos ei ole Raamatun sanoman vastainen. Käsittelen kaikkia kategorioita myös käännöksen Skopoksen näkökulmasta. Tärkein Skopos tekstilleni on se, että käännös on Raamatun oppien mukainen, tyyli ja kieliopilliset seikat ovat toissijaisia. Johtopäätökseni on, että ekvivalenssi ja Skopos ovat toimivia teorioita kristillisten aiheiden kääntämiseen. Kotouttamista tai vieraannuttamista ei käännöksestäni juurikaan löytynyt, mutta se saattaa myös tarkoittaa sitä, että niitä ei olisikaan voitu käyttää – niiden poissaolo ei tarkoita väärää käännöstä. Kääntäjälle on tärkeintä löytää tasapaino näiden kahden käsitteen väliltä.